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A safe place to share your loss

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 08:06 PM
I will start this thread with some information about myself and what I have learned in the past year.

Hugh my DH passed away on Jan 8, 2008 of cancer. My journey has had many ups and downs and with the advise of a friend I found a therapist who deals with clients who have lost loved ones.

I saw this women 3 or 4 times last spring, the weather became brighter and so did I so I decided not to see her any longer. She promised to call me if she was going to start up a grief group.

Thank you, she called me in September and I started with her group with another women and another man. "Therapist" planned for each meeting to be 3 hours once a week, where we were all able to express our saddness, guilt and happiness (when we felt it) but the greatest gift was one of safety.

Those of you who have been or are on this journey know how difficult it is to talk to people about those who have passed. We don't want to bore anyone or make our friends feel uncomfortable, maybe our spouse was not the nicest person to others.

One thing I learned is that when someone says that they have been thinking of you; BELIEVE IT, I went to November 11th services at my Legion, all of the hugs and well wishes and thinking of you's is still helping me cope. What a great gift to tell someone that you have been thinking of them. So they did not call you....but you are still in their hearts.

I have said those same words to others that were hurting and I hope that they gave the encouragement as I recieved.

I patted myself on the back a couple of weeks ago when we finally got snow...I went out and shoveled, I DID IT, now, I have shoveled before but last winter it was a huge chore and the only time I did it was when I got a note from the mailperson that they would not deliver unless I shoveled.

I have made great strides in the past year and I will continue to make even bigger ones.

I leave this now to you here on pets.ca, please feel safe and if you need to talk or vent or cry here I for one will be around to listen and talk to you.
pbpatti / Patti

Winston
December 27th, 2008, 08:17 PM
Thank you pbpatti this is a good thread...in a healing kind of way!

I wanted to share with you that I lost my Dad 9 yrs ago and it has been a struggle each and everyday to maintain a semi normal life and it still seems like yesterday. I guess you could say I became the head of the household. I do have 2 older siblings whom I have not seen since his passing...I have struggled each day to help my Mom coninue on living without her soulmate..much like I am sure you miss Hugh.

We have had some ups and downs and some really big hills to climb but made it each and everytime. I have a younger brother whom has some challenges so he contributes what he can. So I fully understand how you feel when you mention shovelling the snow. I had to teach my mom how to do many things that my father always took care of no matter what and that was tough for all of us!

Looking back now we are stronger! and tougher! and I think that these types of strugggles can only make you a better person. I always find the holiday season a bit tough cause it was one of our favourite times as a family!

I always say we are going to take baby steps and that seems to keep us on an even keel!

Cindy
:thumbs up

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 08:26 PM
Thanks for sharing Winston, yes, baby steps are what we need, you cannot believe that you can get through this process alone either. To sit with someone who is remembering what they had and what they did is so important. I'm sure that you and your mom do that alot at Christmas time. I have some friends that I visited yesterday and we had some big laughs about some of our camping trips we took together.

angeldogs
December 27th, 2008, 11:21 PM
We have had our share of loss lately these last 4 years.Human and pets.

4 years ago we lost my father inlaw.we were on our way to me the home inspector when we got the call.he is still greatly missed and we do talk about him which makes it easier and has helped the wife as her and her father were close.

In 2006 we lost my grandmother which was real hard on us all.the kids were close to her.i think being there when she passed and being able to say goodbye made the grieving process easier.i still think about her alot.

Sept this year we lost our nephew at the age of 30 to ALS.and one of the hardest things was we weren't able to say goodbye as he lived in Edmonton and we didn't have the money to fly out west which made the grieving process very hard and stressfull has we held it in.

Then Nov this year we lost my uncle to cancer.we weren't close but i looked up to him just the same has i did when i was growing up.i was there a few days before he passed to say goodbye.he didn't look like the man i knew.i was shocked bye it all and it all seem like a dream.so i felt like i didn't say goodbye the way i should of.just me and him in the room.and again held it all in.i know now you need to grieve and talk about it.bye the end of Nov.with all the loss of humans and pets and my job and holding it in my marriage just about ended untill it all came to a head and on big blow out fight.since then we talk about them and let the kids talk of them and it's made the grieving easier to deal with.that is also why i just started posting again.i was very depressed and was finding it very hard to say anything.

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 11:28 PM
Angeldogs, we need to talk about our loved ones, that is how we remember them and how we release our pain, most friends and family will listen I have found that out. There is compassion where you least expect it. Keep talking.

angeldogs
December 27th, 2008, 11:40 PM
Angeldogs, we need to talk about our loved ones, that is how we remember them and how we release our pain, most friends and family will listen I have found that out. There is compassion where you least expect it. Keep talking.

We have been.just after my uncle passed we lost Tucker the dog in my avatar.in 2 month we had 3 losses and i just didn't really talk about much.the losses we had or life in general.since the big argument we talk regularly now and i had realized we should have done it sooner.

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 11:44 PM
You have had a very difficult 4 years, keeping all of your grief inside as you found out does not help, I hope that all of your family now is able to talk about their grief too. Once one person starts the others find out that it is ok and that it is safe to speak about the losses.

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 11:47 PM
We have been.just after my uncle passed we lost Tucker the dog in my avatar.in 2 month we had 3 losses and i just didn't really talk about much.the losses we had or life in general.since the big argument we talk regularly now and i had realized we should have done it sooner. sometimes pain will bring us together, I am so happy that you and your family are able to talok about this together. You will find, if you have not already, that this will bring you closer. Trust.

angeldogs
December 27th, 2008, 11:55 PM
We are all able to talk about our grief and listen to one another now.

pbpatti
December 27th, 2008, 11:59 PM
Thank you for sharing Angeldogs, this is why I wanted to start this thread, I know that there are people who either have no one to talk to or are afraid to talk to someone, I hope that if they read this that they will feel safe enough to talk to us. We will listen.:candle:

angeldogs
December 28th, 2008, 12:04 AM
Your welcome.

pbpatti
December 28th, 2008, 12:27 AM
Thank you Marko.

TeriM
December 28th, 2008, 01:47 AM
Five years ago this january we lost my father at the age of 65 :sad:. In the year prior to his death we also lost my grandmother and then my aunt just two months before my dad. My father-in-law died a year after my father. It was a very difficult time for me and my family. I thought I was doing ok for a long time until a friend finally sat me down and commented on how angry I always seemed. That was the break through for me to stop and reevaluate how I was handling things and helped me to acknowledge I was still grieving and to embrace that. I still have very tough moments especially relating to my father (am about to cry while writing this) and miss him terribly. One of the hardest things for me is to see the pain my mother has experienced. She lost her mom, her best friend and her lifelong love (40 years) in a very short time and it still rips my heart to this day to see her alone :sad:.

I am grateful for little things. My dad had a massive heart attack about six months before his fatal attack and that gave us all a little extra time. It was a very quick death for him and after seeing my aunt and father in law have prolonged hospital stays I would not wish that for anyone. I have a wonderful husband, family and friends and of course awesome fur babies that have helped me through it all.

pbpatti
December 28th, 2008, 12:28 PM
Hi TeriM, thanks for sharing,

what a great friend you have that was able to talk openly to you about how you were reacting to your losses. I have been through the anger and expect that it will erupt again in the coming months and years but I have also learned how to deal with it and know where it is coming from.

I have had times that I have spent with friends who have brought me to tears with laughter remembering things that we had all done together, a few months ago I had a hard time with that; to be happy, but I also know that happiness will find me again if I let it.

14+kitties
December 28th, 2008, 03:01 PM
Sometimes in the depth of our grief we forget others are grieving too. Thanks for starting this thread pbpatti. :grouphug: I have been sitting reading everyones' stories and tears have been flowing. It is very cathartic.

My Mom was one of the most important people in my life. Losing her in July was tough. Especially seeing as she had been such a lively vibrant person up till about 6 weeks before when the cancer really took over. Every day has been tough. Some worse than others. But... for Christmas I asked my hubby to have my Mom's "Penny from Heaven" taken and put into a necklace for me. I have attached a picture so you can see how it turned out. I would like to share the story that goes with it.

I was talking to my Mom probably six months or so before her death. We were talking of all things about pennies. She was telling me the old story "find a penny, share a penny, good luck for a year". I told her I had recently read that when you find a penny someone in heaven was thinking of you. She, being a very spiritual person, loved that.
The day after we buried her ashes I went outside to feed the cats. Stormy, my feral who runs from everyone but me, came to meet me. But that day she took a different path than she had ever taken. Most times it was a straight beeline to me. That day she jigged about three feet over and then slowed down. I went to meet her. Just at the point where I bent down to pick her up there was a shiny penny. Not new. In fact it was from 2005. But it shone brightly. I picked it up, looked up to the heavens, and said "Thanks Mom." I knew it was Mom's way of saying Look, I made it. :thumbs up

When I opened the package from hubby on Christmas day and saw my penny I immediately put it on. It was the first time since Mom passed that I could look at her picture without tears.

kiara
December 28th, 2008, 05:17 PM
So sorry about your husband's passing. Sorrow is for sharing and many people will help you with your grief. This is a difficult time of year for all of us, as we all have lost a human or a pet. My mother lived alone, she passed away suddenly in Sept. 2006. She was a heavy smoker and although we knew that she was getting elderly, we were not prepared for her sudden death. She lived her life the way she wanted and died the same way. She would have hated being in a home and being looked after by nurses. She was very difficult and would have given them a hard time. It would have been very tough on her to give up her white poodle, "Max" whom she loved so much, he was from SPCA. We looked after her well, but he was her only daily companion, he brought so much happiness into her life. He stayed with us for another 8 months. He then had cancer and could not be saved. He was 14. Two losses in such a short time. It has been so hard.

pbpatti
December 28th, 2008, 06:57 PM
14+, wow, Thank you for sharing your wonderful story about your Mom and the blessed penny. For you to have this penny around your neck now will give you such comfort. Thanks to a loving DH.

I did not know about pennies and their "gift" until I was told that my Dad has been leaving me pennies to find. Within days of being told about this gift that the penny has I found one in an unusual place. I picked it up and Thanked my Dad for watching over me. Since then 5 other pennies have come to me and I pick each one up and thank Dad again.

pbpatti
December 28th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Kiara, I am so sad for you that your Mom passed away. Being able to live in her own home with the help of her family meant so much to her.

We all need to feel independent and the gift that you gave her to be able to stay in her home will always be with you. Max also gave her his love and when his time came he crossed the bridge to be with her.

Winston
December 28th, 2008, 10:48 PM
14+ Thanks for sharing! That is a beautiful tribute to your Mom! I know what you mean about pictures...I still have enormous trouble with them but it gets better everyday!

This was a wonderful idea pbpatti and a great way to cherish those we all miss do dearly!

Cindy

pbpatti
December 29th, 2008, 11:33 PM
Thank you all for sharing, for some reason I have a feeling that I need to keep this thread going.

Perhaps because there is someone who needs to add their memories or thoughts and not yet able to or perhaps they have not seen this yet and needs to read it to recieve some comfort.

I really feel a need for this thread, especially to those who are looking for a reason to get up and get going, listen to your heart, it will tell you exactly what you need. We are here for you.

Ford Girl
December 30th, 2008, 05:18 PM
This is a great thread, we share so many things with the people on here, its amazing to see the support and love and understanding that goes around this board.

Im sorry for everyone's losses, only time heals, but we never forget.

My father passed away by accidental drowning when I was 17 (Im 31 today), very tragic story, then my grandfather 6 months later of poor health, and 2 close friends in a grucome car accident 3 months after that. 4 very sad loses for our family to edure in less then one year.

Over the years its gotten easier to speak of it, to share the story, but we never forget do we? When I got married and now that Im expecting a baby it brings it all back - I wonder if my dad would have liked my DH as much as I think they would have, I often think about the grandpa and great grandpa my boy will never meet. I sometime worry I wont remember things about them to share with my son, how will I knwo if he has their traits? How I wish my dad could have walked me down the aisle at my wedding, would he have approved, cried, been proud, how pround they would have been that I made a great life for myself. Life events such as thing bring it all back with a gut wrenching jolt. It feels like yesterday that they left us too soon yet 14 years have passed.